Jinja Referral Hospital desperately needs Shs14 billion for renovation and upgrade works, the hospital administrators have said.
The administrators made the revelation during a visit to the facility on Thursday by Mr Bander Muhammed Al-Faifi, the charge d’affaires of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
“We need Shs6b for the emergency department because we have a high burden of traffic and lake accidents; Shs3.8b for the operation room, the theatre is in bad state with old equipment; Shs5b for the pediatric ward, we have few beds; and Shs400m for CT scan because currently all patients are referred to Mulago,” Dr Edward Nkuruziza, the director of the hospital, said.
He said the facility was constructed in 1927 and they are still using the same structures, which are in poor state.
Dr Nkuruziza added that since it is a referral hospital, it serves a population of about five million people, offering specialised and general healthcare, preventive and rehabilitative services.
According to the director, the hospital has 500beds with 420 health workers yet they receive more than 800 patients per day. In some sections, he said, patients share beds.
Dr Nkuruziza added that the hospital faces a chronic funding shortage, leading to failure to meet its service target both in quality and quantity.
Mr Muhammed Al-Faifi said the government of Saudi Arabia has been working with the government of Uganda for some time, promising to explore ways to help the ailing hospital. “We have to first talk to our colleagues in Saudi Arabia and see what we can do because we were not aware of those challenges,” he said.
He added that the government of Saudi Arabia has a strong connection with Jinja because the late sultan Abdul Aziz once visited the source of the River Nile.
“We promised to continue providing support to fund Uganda in several sectors; education, health and business,” Mr Muhammed Al-Faifi added.